Sunday, January 31, 2010

Low-Tech

I was thinking about things that probably will never change, despite advancements in technology.  These are things that have stayed the same for hundreds or, in some cases, thousands of years. Here are some things I thought of:
  1. Books. Even with new e-books and the Kindle or iPad, I am positive that we will always have books with us. I can't remember who I heard this from (maybe Kathy?), but someone told me tongue-in-cheek, "Wouldn't it be great to have a completely portable reading device that you would never have to charge, you could leave your own notes in the margin, and you could flip through the pages as fast as you wanted? That would be amazing!"  Sometimes I like to think about all the amazing things we would say about the paperback book if we only had the e-book first.
  2. Steam-powered electricity.  I can still remember my physics class in high school when I learned that even nuclear power plants generate electricity using steam.  The whole purpose of the nuclear power plant is to make enough heat to boil water, and then the steam from the water turns the turbine to generate electricity. Steam engines have been around for about 2000 years.  Granted, we have improved the design and productivity of the engine a lot since then, but the backbone technology is the same.
  3. Coins.  Now here is something ancient.  Humans have been using coins for thousands of years. Many people think that physical money will disappear because of the wide popularity of debit and credit cards.  I really think that people won't want to give up the physical money any time soon
  4. Missionaries. When I was serving my mission, I felt like the whole process of finding people was so inefficient. I remember my dad saying that the Lord doesn't care so much for efficiency. It's all about the individual for him.  If it was about efficiency, we could have one proxy baptism for all the dead and then be done! Missionary work is the same.  Even though it may take a while to physically go to each door on a street and talk to everyone you meet just to find that one person in 100,000 (that's what it feels like) who would be willing to talk to you , that is the way that the Lord has said it should be.
I found this online magazine that talks about all things low-tech.  It's pretty interesting.

3 comments:

Katie said...

Agreed. I always feel like books are way more exciting in their physical form.

Kathy Haynie said...

If you Google "bio-optic organized knowledge device," you get a bunch of hits of basically the same document - a tongue-in-cheek treatment of books as a technology device. If you're attributing that comment to me (wow! I'm honored!), I surely got it from the bio-optic document. The copy I have attributes the document to Isaac Asimov, the great science fiction writer, but who knows?

I think moms and dads will be around for a long time, too.

Katie said...

Moms and dads as opposed to what? Robots raising children (like in Wall-e)?